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Reunion Island: thousands witness partial eclipse of the sun

The annular solar eclipse was perfectly visible from the French island of Reunion, as well as Madagascar and other locations across Central Africa.

The moon’s orbit took it between the earth and the sun, casting a shadow across large swathes of the globe.

The French Indian Ocean island was one of the best places to view the natural phenomenon, which attracted thousands of visitors to the area.

If the moon were in a perfectly circular orbit, a solar eclipse would occur every month. However, given that the moon moves in a slightly tilted direction, an annular eclipse is an erratic occurance.

The next annular eclipse is expected on 26 February, 2017 and will be visible from the southern tip of South America and parts of south-western Africa.

An annular eclipse differs from a total – or hybrid – eclipse because it is still visible behind the moon as the paths cross.

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